1 This is the family history of Aaron and Moses at the time the Lord talked to Moses on Mount Sinai. 2 Aaron had four sons: Nadab, the oldest, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar. 3 These were the names of Aaron's sons, who were appointed to serve as priests. 4 But Nadab and Abihu died in the presence of the Lord when they offered the wrong kind of fire before the Lord in the Desert of Sinai. They had no sons. So Eleazar and Ithamar served as priests during the lifetime of their father Aaron. 5 The Lord said to Moses, 6 "Bring the tribe of Levi and present them to Aaron the priest to help him. 7 They will help him and all the Israelites at the Meeting Tent, doing the work in the Holy Tent. 8 The Levites must take care of everything in the Meeting Tent and serve the people of Israel by doing the work in the Holy Tent. 9 Give the Levites to Aaron and his sons; of all the Israelites, the Levites are given completely to him. 10 Appoint Aaron and his sons to serve as priests, but anyone else who comes near the holy things must be put to death." 11 The Lord also said to Moses, 12 "I am choosing the Levites from all the Israelites to take the place of all the firstborn children of Israel. The Levites will be mine, 13 because the firstborn are mine. When you were in Egypt, I killed all the firstborn children of the Egyptians and took all the firstborn of Israel to be mine, both animals and children. They are mine. I am the Lord." 14 The Lord again said to Moses in the Desert of Sinai, 15 "Count the Levites by families and family groups. Count every male one month old or older." 16 So Moses obeyed the Lord and counted them all. 17 Levi had three sons, whose names were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 18 The Gershonite family groups were Libni and Shimei. 19 The Kohathite family groups were Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel. 20 The Merarite family groups were Mahli and Mushi. These were the family groups of the Levites. 21 The family groups of Libni and Shimei belonged to Gershon; they were the Gershonite family groups. 22 The number that was counted was 7,500 males one month old or older. 23 The Gershonite family groups camped on the west side, behind the Holy Tent. 24 The leader of the families of Gershon was Eliasaph son of Lael. 25 In the Meeting Tent the Gershonites were in charge of the Holy Tent, its covering, the curtain at the entrance to the Meeting Tent, 26 the curtains in the courtyard, the curtain at the entry to the courtyard around the Holy Tent and the altar, the ropes, and all the work connected with these items. 27 The family groups of Amram, Izhar, Hebron, and Uzziel belonged to Kohath; they were the Kohathite family groups. 28 They had 8,600 males one month old or older, and they were responsible for taking care of the Holy Place. 29 The Kohathite family groups camped south of the Holy Tent. 30 The leader of the Kohathite families was Elizaphan son of Uzziel. 31 They were responsible for the Ark, the table, the lampstand, the altars, the tools of the Holy Place which they were to use, the curtain, and all the work connected with these items. 32 The main leader of the Levites was Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, who was in charge of all those responsible for the Holy Place. 33 The family groups of Mahli and Mushi belonged to Merari; they were the Merarite family groups. 34 The number that was counted was 6,200 males one month old or older. 35 The leader of the Merari families was Zuriel son of Abihail, and they were to camp north of the Holy Tent. 36 The Merarites were responsible for the frames of the Holy Tent, the braces, the posts, the bases, and all the work connected with these items. 37 They were also responsible for the posts in the courtyard around the Holy Tent and their bases, tent pegs, and ropes. 38 Moses, Aaron, and his sons camped east of the Holy Tent, toward the sunrise, in front of the Meeting Tent. They were responsible for the Holy Place for the Israelites. Anyone else who came near the Holy Place was to be put to death. 39 Moses and Aaron counted the Levite men by their families, as the Lord commanded, and there were 22,000 males one month old or older. 40 The Lord said to Moses, "Count all the firstborn sons in Israel one month old or older, and list their names. 41 Take the Levites for me instead of the firstborn sons of Israel; take the animals of the Levites instead of the firstborn animals from the rest of Israel. I am the Lord." 42 So Moses did what the Lord commanded and counted all the firstborn sons of the Israelites. 43 When he listed all the firstborn sons one month old or older, there were 22,273 names. 44 The Lord also said to Moses, 45 "Take the Levites instead of all the firstborn sons of the Israelites, and take the animals of the Levites instead of the animals of the other people. The Levites are mine. I am the Lord. 46 Since there are 273 more firstborn sons than Levites, 47 collect two ounces of silver for each of the 273 sons. Use the measure as set by the Holy Place, which is two-fifths of an ounce. 48 Give the silver to Aaron and his sons as the payment for the 273 Israelites." 49 So Moses collected the money for the people the Levites could not replace. 50 From the firstborn of the Israelites, he collected thirty-five pounds of silver, using the measure set by the Holy Place. 51 Moses obeyed the command of the Lord and gave the silver to Aaron and his sons.
1 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 2 "Count the Kohathites among the Levites by family groups and families. 3 Count the men from thirty to fifty years old, all who come to serve in the Meeting Tent. 4 "The Kohathites are responsible for the most holy things in the Meeting Tent. 5 When the Israelites are ready to move, Aaron and his sons must go into the Holy Tent, take down the curtain, and cover the Ark of the Agreement with it. 6 Over this they must put a covering made from fine leather, then spread the solid blue cloth over that, and put the poles in place. 7 "Then they must spread a blue cloth over the table for the bread that shows a person is in God's presence. They must put the plates, pans, bowls, and the jars for drink offerings on the table; they must leave the bread that is always there on the table. 8 Then they must put a red cloth over all of these things, cover everything with fine leather, and put the poles in place. 9 "With a blue cloth they must cover the lampstand, its lamps, its wick trimmers, its trays, and all the jars for the oil used in the lamps. 10 Then they must wrap everything in fine leather and put all these things on a frame for carrying them. 11 "They must spread a blue cloth over the gold altar, cover it with fine leather, and put the poles in place. 12 "They must gather all the things used for serving in the Holy Place and wrap them in a blue cloth. Then they must cover that with fine leather and put these things on a frame for carrying them. 13 "They must clean the ashes off the bronze altar and spread a purple cloth over it. 14 They must gather all the things used for serving at the altar -- the pans for carrying the fire, the meat forks, the shovels, and the bowls -- and put them on the bronze altar. Then they must spread a covering of fine leather over it and put the poles in place. 15 "When the Israelites are ready to move, and when Aaron and his sons have covered the holy furniture and all the holy things, the Kohathites may go in and carry them away. In this way they won't touch the holy things and die. It is the Kohathites' job to carry the things that are in the Meeting Tent. 16 "Eleazar son of Aaron, the priest, will be responsible for the Holy Tent and for everything in it, for all the holy things it has: the oil for the lamp, the sweet-smelling incense, the continual grain offering, and the oil used to appoint priests and things to the Lord's service." 17 The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, 18 "Don't let the Kohathites be cut off from the Levites. 19 Do this for the Kohathites so that they may go near the Most Holy Place and not die: Aaron and his sons must go in and show each Kohathite what to do and what to carry. 20 The Kohathites must not enter and look at the holy things, even for a second, or they will die." 21 The Lord said to Moses, 22 "Count the Gershonites by families and family groups. 23 Count the men from thirty to fifty years old, all who have a job to do in the Meeting Tent. 24 "This is what the Gershonite family groups must do and what they must carry. 25 They must carry the curtains of the Holy Tent, the Meeting Tent, its covering, and its outer covering made from fine leather. They must also carry the curtains for the entrance to the Meeting Tent, 26 the curtains of the courtyard that goes around the Holy Tent and the altar, the curtain for the entry to the courtyard, the ropes, and all the things used with the curtains. They must do everything connected with these things. 27 Aaron and his sons are in charge of what the Gershonites do or carry; you tell them what they are responsible for carrying. 28 This is the work of the Gershonite family group at the Meeting Tent. Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest, will direct their work. 29 "Count the Merarite families and family groups. 30 Count the men from thirty to fifty years old, all who work at the Meeting Tent. 31 It is their job to carry the following as they serve in the Meeting Tent: the frames of the Holy Tent, the crossbars, the posts, and bases, 32 in addition to the posts that go around the courtyard, their bases, tent pegs, ropes, and everything that is used with the poles around the courtyard. Tell each man exactly what to carry. 33 This is the work the Merarite family group will do for the Meeting Tent. Ithamar son of Aaron, the priest, will direct their work." 34 Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel counted the Kohathites by families and family groups, 35 the men from thirty to fifty years old who were to work at the Meeting Tent. 36 There were 2,750 men in the family groups. 37 This was the total of the Kohath family groups who worked at the Meeting Tent, whom Moses and Aaron counted as the Lord had commanded Moses. 38 Also, the Gershonites were counted by families and family groups, 39 the men from thirty to fifty years old who were given work at the Meeting Tent. 40 The families and family groups had 2,630 men. 41 This was the total of the Gershon family groups who worked at the Meeting Tent, whom Moses and Aaron counted as the Lord had commanded. 42 Also, the men in the families and family groups of the Merari family were counted, 43 the men from thirty to fifty years old who were to work at the Meeting Tent. 44 The family groups had 3,200 men. 45 This was the total of the Merari family groups, whom Moses and Aaron counted as the Lord had commanded Moses. 46 So Moses, Aaron, and the leaders of Israel counted all the Levites by families and family groups. 47 They counted the men from thirty to fifty who were given work at the Meeting Tent and who carried the Tent. 48 The total number of these men was 8,580. 49 Each man was counted as the Lord had commanded Moses; each man was given his work and told what to carry as the Lord had commanded Moses.